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The Use of Spreadsheets for the Seismic Design of Piles

Author(s): Sadek, S. | Freiha, F.

Journal: Spreadsheets in Education
ISSN 1448-6156

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 142;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: deep foundations | seismic design | soil-structure interaction | spreadsheet

Understanding the response of pile foundations to seismic loads is a necessary pre-requisite to properly analyze and/or design them. This objective presents the civil engineering student and teacher with a complex problem, which typically challenges and strains the traditional didactic educational approach. In teaching the topic, we had faced significant difficulties in meeting the challenge of leaving the students with a thorough appreciation and understanding of the material. This was reflected in course evaluation results and comments. As such, an attempt was initiated to improve and enhance the learning/teaching process by incorporating a spreadsheet-based set of analysis/design tools with associated graphical representations. The approach described herein proved to be an effective and accessible method, according to the feedback solicited from students. In this paper, the basic background and available methods for the design of laterally loaded piles are presented along with the developed spreadsheet tool. Two design methods were included; one is a commonly used solution for laterally loaded piles; the other is a hybrid method which we compiled during the course of our work. The programming techniques and the methodologies adopted are also included. The Excel spreadsheets which were developed are presented along with illustrative examples.
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